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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Reasonably Happy

  1. FADE IN.

  2. Act 1


  4. Phone in hand, PETER is checking the answer requests on his Quora app.

  5. PETER (V.O.): If you could have a safari animal as a pet, which would you choose?

  6. Pausing.

  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): This is a hypothetical - an imagined proposition that won't come true.

  8. Pausing.

  9. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Have I ever daydreamed to have an East African animal as a pet?

  10. Pausing.

  11. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): No, my mind has never wandered that far. If I've to dream, I'd try to dream closer and make it relevant.

  12. Recalling.

  13. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But I did have fantasy of keeping a Chinese animal as a pet.

  14. Act 2



  17. INT. HOME - DAY (2001)

  18. Peter (47) and his YOUNGER SON (3) are watching TV.

  19. YOUNGER SON (Seriously): Dad, can I keep a giant panda as a pet?

  20. PETER (V.O.): I've never said no to my good boy. How could I respond to his request?

  21. His younger son sees Peter's body language.

  22. YOUNGER SON (Cont'd): Dad, just a very small one will do.


  24. Recalling.

  25. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'): I'm his father and it's my role to provide for a solution.

  26. Pausing.

  27. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I didn't say yes as I knew I couldn't deliver. I didn't say no either...

  28. Pausing.

  29. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I was trying to evade my responsibility, hoping my son would appreciate the situations when he got older.

  30. Recalling.

  31. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Years later, he got two small Brazilian tortoises as his pets.

  32. Pausing.

  33. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The tortoises have grown up now, and so is our son.

  34. Refocusing on his phone screen.

  35. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But if I could have a pet, I'd like to have a small giant panda.

  36. Peter types his answer on the phone screen.

  37. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Now he has returned and is in self-isolation in our other unit. My wife and I are happy to provide anything he wants.

  38. TV news have distracted Peter's attention.

  39. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Oh, a powerful typhoon is approaching Northern Kyushu. Our elder daughter lives there.

  40. Peter looks at the sunshine through the window.

  41. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): We're miles apart. She used to be the nearest to us, when compared with her brother in Australia and her sister in UK.

  42. Pausing.

  43. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): When I checked out her unit last November, I found that her living environment is quite OK.

  44. Keeping his fingers crossed.

  45. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I hope she'll be alright.

  46. Peter takes a deep breath.

  47. Act 3



  50. INT. SITTING ROOM - NIGHT (2000)

  51. Peter's FAMILY are tending different household chores. Looking out of the window, the ELDER DAUGHTER (4) has discovered something.

  52. ELDER DAUGHTER: Oh, the moon has broken!

  53. Following their elder daughter's pointing direction, Peter and his wife see a new moon.

  54. PETER: Oh yes, the full moon is off duty. That's the new moon. Isn't it cute?


  56. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): That's some 20 years ago.

  57. Pausing.

  58. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Our flights to visit her during the mid-Autumn Festival have also been cancelled. We didn't know COVID-19 is so unstoppable.

  59. Reflecting.

  60. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): There're two ingredients of happiness. One is s personal responsibility and the other is decisive optimism.

  61. Pausing.

  62. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Yes, we're reasonably happy.

  63. FADE OUT.

  64. THE END

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